'Book bragging' row as author's claim to be reading 50 books at the same time is criticised by fellow writers

'Book bragging' row as author's claim to be reading 50 books at the same time is criticised by fellow writers
'Book bragging' row as author's claim to be reading 50 books at the same time is criticised by fe...

Actively reading or sitting half read on a kindle? If it’s the later then I am “reading” like a 100 books.

I’m reading about 200 books, if you count every book I’ve started in my life but haven’t finished “yet.”

So I can add that to my list of things to brag about, along with liking spicy food and having slightly better than average cold tolerance. Single file line, ladies.

Please note that the woman pictured is not the author in the article, Will Self

Poorly chosen picture for that article, she is one of the people complaining about author Will Self claiming to read 50 books at a time.

I suppose I could technically consider myself as reading multiple books at once, but often it's because I started finding one boring and moved on to another. Really my attention and memory is never devoted to more than 2 or 3 at a time.

A young girl and her family who took on Northamptonshire county council over its plans to close 21 libraries have claimed a win in the high court, after a judge ruled that the cash-strapped council would have to revisit its plans while “paying attention to its legal obligations”.

A young girl and her family who took on Northamptonshire county council over its plans to close 2...

I come from Northamptonshire and this is sadly just a part of a wider problem. Our Councils have been corrupt for years and have mismanaged our town and county, stripping the character out of this whole area.

Northamptonshire is a county of polarisation. In South Northamptonshire, some of the richest people in the UK live in massive sandstone mansions with beautiful countryside estates. In the towns (such as Corby and Northampton) homeless people lay in the streets, we have the lowest educational attainment in the country and in Corby there is some of the lowest life expectancy in the country - and probably in Western Europe too. As for the County town Northampton - nearly half of the town was built in the 60s as Council Estates, what Americans would call "Projects". But there is nothing to do in these areas, collectively known as the Eastern District. The centre of Northampton also has some deprived areas like Spring Boroughs, Kings Heath, the Mounts and Semilong. These areas also have nothing to do, so on a saturday night you get thousands of people pouring into a tiny town centre and drinking huge amounts of alcohol - seriously, the UK prevalence of "Heavy Episodic Drinking" is 28% - compared to Germany at 12.5% and the US at 16.9%. There are always a huge number of fights, and our town centre has one of the top 5 dangerous roads in the UK in it because of this.

The town has 230,000 people, but its a backwater, and people feel like they are living in a decaying, depressing place. The town sits in the Nene Valley, which means that for like 90% of the year the town is covered in low lying grey clouds known by locals as "The Soup" - although its been really sunny recently, usually its pretty rare to get a glimpse of the sun most days. In terms of history, Northampton used to be a seat of Royal power, and had a radical university in the 1200s that rivalled Oxford. However, our university was shut down and we were banned from having one for over 700 years until the early 2000s by LAW! And our massive castle was smashed to pieces by the Royals after we sided with Parliament in the Civil War - a historical factor which is felt keenly by some (very few nowadays) of the older people here, who have an ancestral dislike of the Royal family. We did have the first Atheist MP though, which is pretty cool.

Just some of the awful things going on here:

Our council is bankrupt, and cannot even afford to power all of the street lights. So half the town is in darkness at night, and crime is on the up. A few years ago 30-50 people rioted and attacked eachother in the Town centre with machetes and knives as part of gang violence.

Our local museum sold its one well known item to a private collector, and has been downgraded, and will therefore receive less funding.

Millions of pounds were given to our local football club by the council as a loan. This money then mysteriously "disappeared".

The council sold off our historical cobbled stones in the Market centre - so that another town could buy them and have a pretty market square instead!

The Councils are reorganising themselves to save money. However, in the process many small wards will be destroyed. This means that whereas before, a tiny party like the Greens, or a local independent could try and get represented in the council, now only the two big parties, Labour and the Conservatives, will have a chance of getting on the council.

Hundreds of historical buildings have been knocked down over the last 40 years - some of them priceless in terms of aesthetic beauty. Many of those that remain are large factories - long since shut down and boarded up. However, they are owned by rich owners who want to redevelop the land. So they are letting the listed buildings (which cannot be knocked down by law) crumble and moulder away until they either become a threat to public safety and have to be torn down, or they "accidentally burn down in the night".

I don't live in Northampton anymore, as I moved for Uni down south to a beautiful town that is looked after by its council. The difference is stark. Northampton is a dying town - a black hole that people cannot escape from. The increase in deprivation in the last few years is crazy, and Northampton feels like its only a few events away from a breakdown of public order at times.

I used to live in Rushden and wellingborough. The week after the lights shut off my motorcycle was stolen. I have friends working for the council and they'll lose their jobs in two years because part of the council is just dissappearing.

Not sure if you've heard of the hemmingwell in welli, basically the worse estate there. The council had £10,000's left over one year. Did they build a park? Renovate some parts of it? No they spruced up one residential car park, and left the three bordering it with walls that were crumbling.

They also didn't have instructions for what lights to turn off, so they turned off any, which included the only light lighting a long alleyway, etc. The lib dems wanted the lights turned back on, Conservative wanted to spruce up nhampton Town centre.

Oh and don't even get me started on the nhampton bus station...

I don't want to downplay the importance of libraries, and I certainly think closing over half of them throughout the county is a bloody terrible idea, but I have to wonder what they're going to cut instead in order to find the money for this. I live in Northamptonshire myself, and we're at the point where a couple of major roads are going to remain closed until the next fiscal year because there's no money to finish repairing the bridges over the railway line. They're cutting bus services, road maintenance, recycling... Hell, we'll be lucky if local Child Services aren't forced to start doing triage.

And before you ask, no, the county can't just raise taxes to cover the shortfall or take out an emergency loan. They don't have the legal authority to do that on their own initiative in this country.

Library closures are the least of our problems right now, sadly.

Did you see the post from LiesThroughHisTeeth, an unfortunate name given the circumstance?

"Maybe they could cut salaries, benefits, relocation expenses and traveling expenses to the numerous council cabinet members and their cronies."

You should probably start questioning that.

I've just read an entire book in two days following a year-long bout of depression. I'm beyond proud.

I've just read an entire book in two days following a year-long bout of depression. I'm beyond proud.


I've just read an entire book in two days following a year-long bout of depression. I'm beyond proud.

Over the course of the last few years it's taken me months to muster the energy to even pick up a book, let alone read one from start to finish. When I'm having a rough time with my mental health all of my interests seem to drift, but a loss of interest in reading is the one thing that always pains me. Imagine how happy I was when - for the first time in a long time - I was able to read a book from start to finish in two days. I read 'Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe' by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Perhaps it was the wonderfully uplifting nature of the book which allowed me to keep on reading, or maybe it's simply a case of my mental health being better than it was. I'm trying not to question it too much. I've already started my next book and am having such a fantastic time getting immersed in it.

I actually cried when I finished reading 'Aristotle and Dante', not just because it's a touching story, but because I'd just accomplished something I never thought I would again. I devoured books when I was younger, and the idea of being too mentally troubled to enjoy reading again broke my heart. Here's to my healthier mind and to many more reading adventures. :)

I’m in the same position as you described so thank you for sharing your experience. I stopped reading about six years ago, after having read every day for most of my life. My reason was that my dad has recently passed away and I was looking for something to salve my grief. Here’s to us both continuing to read. Xx

I’ve been reading the same book for weeks. I can do about a page a day. I used to read a book every day or two. I hope I can do that again.

Wishing you the absolute best of luck and I'm so sorry for your loss. xx

[META] Can we just sticky a blanket post that says "Flowers for Algernon is heartbreaking and awesome and you should read it?"

[META] Can we just sticky a blanket post that says "Flowers for Algernon is heartbreaking and awesome and you should read it?"

Can you also get a flair that says “get off my lawn”?

Blimey, just scroll past and move on with your life. You should be happy people are still discovering it. You sound like a hipster...

New people discover this book(and other very popular reads) every day

Is East of Eden good tho?

Barnes & Noble says sales of books related to anxiety are soaring

Barnes & Noble says sales of books related to anxiety are soaring
Barnes & Noble says sales of books related to anxiety are soaring

I just read an article a few days ago about how therapy is booming and the topic of choice is politics.

I can imagine given B&N’s precarious financial situation, they too are loading up on anxiety books.

I wonder if that means that anxiety is on the rise or if it's being recognized and treated more easily with the advancement of proper diagnosis and societal acceptance.

Good to hear Barnes and noble is actually selling books.

I just want to thank you guys for getting me into reading.

I just want to thank you guys for getting me into reading.

I'm 15 and I hated reading so much.

It seemed so boring to me and I was constantly getting distracted. I'd read a whole page but wouldn't understand anything I've read, and thought I hated reading. It turns out that I never hated it, I just wasn't reading the right books.

Some time last week, I saw a post on the front page from this subreddit talking about the book, "When Breath Becomes Air", and how it was the first story that made someone cry in 15 years. I didn't believe you could actually be touched by books; the stories I was forced to read in school never made me feel that way and I assumed all books were the same.

Before I even clicked on the post, I checked it out at the library to see what it was all about, and I finished it in two days. I was bawling my eyes out by the end of the book and since then I've been hooked.

I found out I loved reading on my own, at my own pace, peacefully in my room. Sitting in an overcrowded classroom full of kids who didn't want to be there, reading 20 pages a day, and having to stop in the middle of a chapter just to answer questions about the character is the reason why kids think they hate reading. And it doesn't help at all that teachers pick the slowest readers to read the longest paragraphs in the book.

I looked up must-read books on Google and this subreddit came up, giving me a whole list of books that people recommended. I went to the library on Sunday and picked up 4 more books that were on the list. Today I finished reading The Alchemist, and tomorrow I will read Brave New World.

I never thought I'd ever enjoy reading on my own time, but now I can see why people love books so much. Thank you guys for recommending and discussing great books, and for reading my post! Have a great day!

This makes me happy. You get an upvote.

You make me happy. You get an upvote.

I make me happy. I get an upvote?

That’s awesome! Don’t be afraid to put a book down, either. If it’s not speaking to you, don’t drudge through it for the sake of finishing. Find a different, exciting one! My 15 year old students love Sarah J Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, Laini Taylor, Angie Thomas, and Tomi Adeyemi.

Flowers For Algernon broke my heart

Flowers For Algernon broke my heart

So I read this book when I was about twelve or thirteen (well, parts of it anyway) for a class. I pretty much forgot it all over the years until one of my friends mentioned it - I had to reread it. My gosh it is absolutely heartbreaking. I haven’t felt so emotionally drained after reading for a long time - I can count the times a book has made me cry on one hand, and Flowers For Algernon is most of them. Is anyone else similar?

"P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard"


Oh yeah. I read this in 8th grade. It was supposed to be some suggested reading for our group and I couldn't put it down. Ended up finishing it first, and ppl were asking why I was crying. One of my favorite books ever and I've only read it once.

I read the book after several prominent writers chose that as the most moving final line in science fiction.

How dare you make me re-live this so soon after the wound has been opened

Tsundoku, the Japanese word for buying books you don't read should be entered into the English language

Tsundoku, the Japanese word for buying books you don't read should be entered into the English language
Tsundoku, the Japanese word for buying books you don't read should be entered into the English la...

When I was a kid, all my relatives seemed to believe I was a Hardy Boys fan. So they bought me just about every book in the series (100+?).

Never read a single one. Encyclopedia Brown was my boy.

EDIT: I love the nostalgia thread my post seems to have spawned. In a comment below, I confess that I never did give the Hardy Boys a fair shake. I liked the covers and the idea of young detectives, but I think I was low-key rebelling against my family’s idea that “good boys read Hardy Boys”. Or something like that lol

I have a friend that does this. For her birthday I told her I got a giftcard for a store that sells home decorations. It was for a bookstore.

Is there a word for buying steam games that I never play?

Is there a word for "reposting the definition of tsundoku in /sub/books"?

Forbes deleted an op-ed arguing that Amazon should replace libraries

Forbes deleted an op-ed arguing that Amazon should replace libraries

I think I would have preferred if Forbes instead published an op-ed (preferably authored by a librarian) that blew apart his shitty, conclusory, five-paragraph English Comp 101 level-essay by linking to actual statistics and evidence that libraries are perfectly relevant (and maybe even moreso nowadays), but I guess nuking it from orbit will have to do instead.

That's what kind of astounded me about this - not only was the premise ridiculous, but it wasn't backed up by even an attempt at facts or statistics. It read like your ignorant uncle going off on a 'common sense' rant at Thanksgiving, based on nothing more than his 'impression' of a situation.

I find it funny since the writer's response to the backlash on Twitter is essentially "No one read/understood my arguments!" despite him being bombarded with rebuttals to each and every argument he made.

I saw him doing that. So I went and carefully read the article, and then came back and rebutted several times. Clearly he was mostly just pissed he had to pay $500 in taxes a year to support a service he didn't like, with a side bonus of getting a boost to his Amazon stocks. Typical mentality of follks: if I don't use it, it must be a wasted service and we should get rid of it!

Well, Mr. Economist, I don't use the roads in front of your house. Let's get rid of those, too, I'm tired of my tax dollars supporting your driving habits.

1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 are widely celebrated as the trilogy of authoritarian warning. What would be the 4th book to include?

1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 are widely celebrated as the trilogy of authoritarian warning. What would be the 4th book to include?

Since I have to add mandatory "optional" text....

1984 is great at illustrating the warning behind government totalitarianism. The characters live in a world where the government monitors everything you do.

Brave New World is a similar warning from the stand point of a Technocratic Utopian control

F451 is explores a world about how ignorance is rampant and causes the decline of education to the point where the government begins to regulate reading.

What would be the 4th book to add to these other 3?

Edit: Top 5 list (subject to change)

1) "Animal Farm" by George Orwell

2) "We" by Yevgeny Zamyatin

3) "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

4) "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Phillip K Dick

5) "The Dispossessed" by Ursula K. Le Guin

Edit 2: Cool, front page!

Animal farm


Zamyatin's We is the best choice. It matches the strong dystopian theme of the other authors, and it's written in the same historical period as the other novels.

A more exhaustive explanation

I have some experience, as I teach ethics at the college level, and many of my colleagues teach literature. So, we talk a lot about these themes. The books the come up repeatedly are (including your suggestions, and in rough chronological order from when they were written):

Thomas More, Utopia (1551) [Used for context, more satire than dystopia] Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward (1888) [Used for context] Jack London, The Iron Heel (1908) Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1921) Aludous Huxley, Brave New World (1931) George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953) William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954) Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossesed (1974) Charlotte Gilman, Herland (1979) William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984) Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale (1985) Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985) Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower (1993) Lois Lowry, The Giver (1993) Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (2005) Cormac McCarthy, The Road (2006) Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl (2009) Dave Eggers, The Circle (2013)

Depending on your sub-type of utopia, you can get even more specific. But I think that laying things out in chronological order also shows the development of the ideas and the fears. We move from fearing totalitarian states, genetics, and citizen monitoring programs to fearing the internet, natural catastrophe, and social media.

What this doesn't include

You could produce a similarly long list of short stories, things like Jackson's "The Lottery" and Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas."

This doesn't include movies or graphic novels, either. It's easy to think of these. V for Vendetta. Watchmen. The Matrix. Bladerunner (or any movie based on PKD).

There's no YA fiction (with the exception of Lowry). You could definitely include The Hunger Games, The Uglies series, or Ready Player One . By some stretches, maybe you'd include the Ender's Game series [as many comments have pointed out, this might not be YA].

You could also do a history of dystopian and utopian literature, including things like Paradise Lost. And you could include philosophy like Plato's Republic, Hobbes' Leviathan, or Montaigne's "Of Cannibals."

Also, OP, I think you may have mischaracterized the theme of A Brave New World. It's not corporate or economic as much as it's technocratic and totalitarian. Maybe a book like Gibson's Neuromancer would fit your description better, or even something like Bacigalupi's Windup Girl.


Thanks for the gold!

Y'all are a wonderful suggestion machine. I just went for the most frequently mentioned or used in course planning. But y'all had some great suggestions, so I'll post them here:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (/u/TheWrittenLore) Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (/u/mercurial_zephyr) Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (/u/nocontroll) Island by Aldous Huxley (/u/evandegeneres) Animal Farm by George Orwell (/u/r0b3r71984) The World Set Free by HG Wells (/u/impassenger1) Ashes, Ashes (AKA Ravage) by René Barjavel (/u/coquimbo) This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (/u/coquimbo) The Castle by Franz Kafka (/u/stellacampus) Revolt in 2100 by Robert Heinlein (/u/uberbuddy88) Starship Troopers by Robert Heinline (/u/thoughts_prayers) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (/u/fladem) The Master and Margarita by Mikhael Bulgakov (/u/pistolsfortwo) Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coetzee (/u/gwopy) Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (/u/oddible) The Running Man by Stephen King (/u/onekingkai) The Aerodrome by Rex Warner (/u/Han_Swanson) Dune by Frank Herbert (/u/DOWNVOTES_SYNDROME) One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (/u/Hydrocoded) Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (/u/Ravanas) Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson (/u/Jack_Horner) Kallocain by Karin Boye (/u/flawedthought) Jennifer Government by Max Barry (/u/vqhm) Deamon by Leinad Zeraus (AKA Daniel Suarez) (/u/totaltoboggan) Anthem by Ayn Rand (several) YA: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (/u/matthoback) YA: The Destiny of Linus Hoppe by Anne-Laure Bondoux (/u/coquimbo) YA: Feed by MT Anderson (/u/Midwestern_Childhood) YA: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (/u/Midwestern_Childhood) Movie: Brazil (/u/living_404) Short Story: "The Machine Stops" by EM Forster (/u/irulan1) Short Story: "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut (several) Short story: "Examination Day" by Henry Slesar Short Story: "Brown Morning" by Franck Pabloff (/u/coquimbo)

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin -- " A seminal work of dystopian fiction that foreshadowed the worst excesses of Soviet Russia, Yevgeny Zamyatin's We is a powerfully inventive vision that has influenced writers from George Orwell to Ayn Rand."

“Animal Farm is a book!

No it isn’t Lana! It’s an allegorical novella about Stalinism! By George Orwell, and spoiler alert, it sucks!”

In all seriousness I think animal farm is a great book

Try one of these subthreads